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Superintendent in line for bonuses if goals are met : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Superintendent in line for bonuses if goals are met
Recently approved contract also includes contributions to tax sheltered annuity

by Lyle R. Rolfe


If Dr. Matthew Wendt completes the objectives outlined in his new contract as Oswego School District superintendent, he is guaranteed a job through June 30, 2019.

As reported earlier this year, school board members approved by a 6-1 vote, extending his contract by an additional four years. The original three-year contract from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2015, was voided one year early and a new five-year contract was approved.

Board member Ali Swanson was the dissenting voter, saying it was for several reasons which included the length of the contract extension.

Wendt's base salary will remain unchanged at $225,000 each year.

However, he will receive a bonus each year provided he completes performance goals to the board's satisfaction.

The contract says Wendt, with assistance of his administrative team, must:

1. Evaluate student performance, student performance on standardized tests, successful completion of the curriculum, and attendance and drop-out rates; 2. Review the curriculum and instructional services; 3. Review school finances; and 4. Report to the school board his findings as to student performance along with recommendations if needed, for curriculum or instructional changes as a result of student performance evaluations.

In addition, by 2019, the composite score of district students taking the ACT must be 23, according to the contract.

The contract also says he will receive a merit bonus each year for additional Student Performance and Academic Improvement Goals. Over the five years, the bonuses total $187,500.

Wendt's bonus will be $27,500 for the 2014-15 school year; $32,500 for 2015-16; $37,500 for 2016-17; $42,500 for 2017-18; and $47,500 for 2018-19, the last year of the contract.

School board members are expected to evaluate him for his job performance by Feb. 1 of each year.

He also receives other benefits. The district will pay 100 percent of the cost for vision insurance and 80 percent of the cost for medical and dental insurance for Wendt and members of his immediate family._The district will also provide him with Term Life insurance and Long-Term Disability benefits for $100,000.

The contract also says that upon Wendt's satisfactory service each year of the agreement, the district will make a contribution to a tax-sheltered annuity or other account type.

The contribution will be $22,500 each year for five years, for a total contribution of $112,500.

The annuity will be in Wendt's name and all interest or dividends, as well as the principal amount that accrue, will become his property after his retirement.

The district will continue to pay all of Wendt's contributions to the Illinois Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) as required by the Illinois Pension Code.

Vacation benefits of 25 days each year, remain unchanged.

Each contract year Wendt is allowed to exchange up to 10 unused vacation days for payment in lieu of using the vacation days. He is also allowed to carry over any remaining unpaid vacation days up to 10 days each year for a maximum of 30 days and be paid for them at the end of his contract.

The contract also grants Wendt 15 days of sick leave each year, three of which can be used as personal leave days each year. Earned sick leave may accumulate to a maximum of 340 days, under the contract.

The district also pays him $416.66 each month or $4,999.92 per year for district related travel and mileage expenses.

He also is encouraged to attend appropriate professional meetings at all local, state and national levels and to hold such memberships as he deems appropriate, to the extent allowable by the school board's budget.

With board approval, the district will reimburse him for attendance and membership costs of these groups.

However, Wendt cannot serve on or advise any board or organization that has an ongoing financial relationship with the district including the Oswegoland Park District, the Oswego Senior Center and the Oswego YMCA. These three agencies lease space in the former Traughber Junior High School building on Franklin Street in Oswego.

The contract says board members must notify Wendt in writing by April 1 of the last year of his contract if they do not intend to renew the agreement and must state the reasons why it is not being renewed. If this is not done, the contract will be extended for an additional year.

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